KwaZulu-Natal education MEC Mthandeni Dlungwa has urged learners who had been sexually assaulted or harassed by teachers, co-learners and administrators not to hesitate to report their plight to a trusted fellow.
Dlungwa stated this in an occasion that saw 12 teachers purged from the education system for assaulting learners. The MEC’s Appeals Committee, set up in June, found the perpetrators guilty of having an unhealthy sexual relationship with learners under their care.
Speaking in a statement, the department noted that the MEC Mthandeni Dlungwa’s decision to axe the teachers typifies how Dlungwa’s condemns and discourages illicit relationship between teachers and learners.
The department said:
“All appeals have been recommended for dismissal from the education system. By allowing these teachers to continue teaching‚ the department is in violation of the (2000) amendment in the Employment of Educators Act of 1998 which states clearly that ‘If a teacher is found guilty of having a sexual relationship with a learner at his/her school‚ whether with or without the consent of such a learner‚ the teacher will be dismissed.”
The statement further stressed that sexual abuse against learners inflicts “serious and damaging consequences for the victim(s) and in many instances‚ it greatly affects their ability to learn‚ study or participate in school activities.”
Authorities and concerned individuals in the country have continued to condemn the violation and assault of learners by their teachers.
In March, president Zuma championed a campaign calling on appropriate authorities to have male teachers who prey on vulnerable young girls punished.
Zuma, who spoke at the rally “Learn Without Fear,” organised by the Congress of South African Students (Cosas) at Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, expressed sadness about the plight of young South African girls, whom he said encounter day-to-day challenges in the hands of some promiscuous male teachers.
Last week, a teen and student almost lost her life after a sex-tape video of her illicit act with a male teacher went viral. The Nquthu teacher allegedly had the habit of filming himself having sex with students, but luck ran out him when a group of students who were washing his car found a memory card where numerous videos of his many sex acts were uploaded.
Many schools in the country have been rocked by teacher-pupil sex scandal. In August, 2009, a 54-year-old Zululand Primary School teacher was arrested for allegedly raping a 13-year-old pupil in Enseleni Township near Richards Bay.